A Libertarian's New Year's Resolutions

A message from the Advocates for Self Government.

A Libertarian's New Year's Resolutions

by Harry Browne
1. I resolve to sell liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each prospect, rather than preaching to people and expecting them to suddenly adopt my ideas of right and wrong.
2. I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is to inspire people to want liberty — not to prove that they're wrong.
3. I resolve to listen when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.
4. I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals someone may seek — a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less divisive society — and try to show him that those goals can never be achieved by government, but will be well served in a free society.
5. I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs that lead people to seek government help. I don't have to approve of their subsidies or policies — but if I don't acknowledge their needs, I have no hope of helping them find a better way to solve their problemHarry Brownes.
6. No matter what the issue, I resolve to keep returning to the central point: how much better off the individual will be in a free society.
7. I resolve to acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an American. Any plan for improvement must begin with a recognition of the good things we have. To speak only of America's defects will make me a tiresome crank.
8. I resolve to focus on the ways America could be so much better with a very small government — not to dwell on all the wrongs that exist today.
9. I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness. Such things steal time and attention from the work that must be done.
10. I resolve to speak, dress, and act in a respectable manner. I may be the first libertarian someone has encountered, and it's important that he get a good first impression. No one will hear the message if the messenger is unattractive.
11. I resolve to remind myself that someone's"stupid" opinion may be an opinion I once held. If I can grow, why can't I help him grow?
12. I resolve not to raise my voice in any discussion. In a shouting match, no one wins, no one changes his mind, and no one will be inspired to join our quest for a free society.
13. I resolve not to adopt the tactics of Republicans and Democrats. They use character assassination, evasions, and intimidation because they have no real benefits to offer Americans. We, on the other hand, are offering to set people free — and so we can win simply by focusing on the better life our proposals will bring.
14. I resolve to be civil to my opponents and treat them with respect. However anyone chooses to treat me, it's important that I be a better person than my enemies.

Harry Brown (June 17, 1933 – March 1, 2006) was a two time Libertarian Party Presidential nominee.

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  • 12/30/2009 5:58 PM Leo Rizzuti wrote:
    Excellent points for the coming year! I, myself, resolve to cease kicking the shins of liberals that I encounter that insist that America is a horrible place. Or, at least, not kick the ones who's legs I have already broken in previous years.

    By the way, I love the point about always presenting a professional image. I know too many Libertarians that can never have an impact on people's lives because their appearance is not one that promotes intelligent discourse. I've worked on too many political campaigns where I have had to tell volunteers that they should clean up their look. Just because you're wearing a nice shirt and you pull your pants up does not mean that you're in the pocket of "the man"!
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  • 12/30/2009 6:40 PM markison wrote:
    Man I thought I was a good Libertarian but after reading these resolutions/guidlines I guess Im one of the undersirables. Well Im ok with most I guess, I might be a little pushy or too opinionated by the authors standards. I will accept his suggestions there. But in as far as ones appearence goes Id like to note that we come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life and that is a good thing, were not selling Amway.
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  • 12/30/2009 7:47 PM Melinda wrote:
    I really like the message that Mr. Browne conveys in his resolutions. To be inspired by, or to inspire others toward freedom should be a positive thing. It's up to us to make sure that it is.
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  • 12/30/2009 8:01 PM Lindsey wrote:
    Great Post though I have to disagree with # 11. I speak from the voice of experience when I say sometimes you really can't fix stupid. I try to everyday at my job and sometimes is just better to let them go on about their business.
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  • 12/31/2009 3:48 AM John wrote:
    Thanks for posting this, Citizen X. It reminds us to take the high road. It's all too easy to become angry and bitter with the state of things in the world.
    Reply to this
  • 12/31/2009 12:13 PM karen occardi Aka the wrote:
    dear citizenX
    i liked this it is true to the way I think thans for this and have a happy new year and I hope 2010 is going to be our year
    Reply to this
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